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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 7663
Experience:  35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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Is there someone I can talk to somewhere? Im so lost on what

Customer Question

Is there someone I can talk to somewhere? I'm so lost on what to do or say in a pending conversation with a guy I've been seeing and may or may not still be seeing. I need to talk to someone. I'm a mess
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 1 year ago.
Seeking expert testimony is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective

Dear friend,

I would be happy to assist you. You can take a few deep breaths and relax. Sit down and write out the details and I shall answer you as quickly as possible. Please understand that we are obliged (and enforced by a computer driven queue to take all answers in order that they are received.

Usually, it is pretty quick and I shall help you as quickly as possible, or immediately if I have nobody waiting.

Warm regards,

Elliott, MAE, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 7663
Experience: 35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

4 years ago I dated this guy. I recently texted him and we reconnected. Sparks few immediately. We both had the same caution about our previous problems but we jumped in. We've only dated about a month now. From the start he's been saying things like "when do I get to see you again" and "if you only knew how much I want". Things went fantastic over memorial weekend despite the fact that we had a horrible hotel experience we were able to laugh about it.


 


Before I met him I had set up this current weekend to spend with my four year old niece and then in two weeks with my six year old niece. I told him this. Last weekend originally we had agreed that Saturday we would go together to visit my grandmother.


 


This might be hard to follow but I was PMSing the week before we were supposed to visit my grandmother. He was really sweet texting that he wanted to take care of me, make me dinner ect. He was going to do this Thursday night. He doesn't even get here usually until after 8pm though because of where he lives and he owns a dog he has to take care of. I also thought he would be staying here Friday night so that we could see my grandmother the next day. Thursday night after work he texts would I rather him come over Friday. This eventually set in motion a disagreement that ended with him saying he didn't want to come over to a war zone and than I ended up making him dinner and apologizing on Friday. Mostly I just didn't think it was worth a fight anymore.


 


At some point in all this he also asked if we could put off going to my grandmothers since there was some fair he wanted to attend to learn to do a few things and he didn't want to be gone both days. We agreed that we would get our things done seperately Saturday and spend all day sunday together. Not only did we get our things done but I invited him to join me at a friends where we were gathering to drink and eat. He came and announced at the event that he had to deal with a roomate that was moving out the next day. So we spent the night togther and he left. He spent the whole day dealing with his roomate. He apologized in text that it was taking so long (this was like 3 in the afternoon at this point). I was frustrated and he could tell due to my silence. Eventually I said (in text) am I happy about this? no, can I get over it? yes.


 


He also had asked me about going to his neck of the woods (at work) to have dinner a couple of nights since I was busy during the weekend. I said I would like that but when I got my ducks in a row I could only really give him one day. On Tuesday I drove in traffic towards his neck of the woods. We went to a really nice restaurant that he chose where he proceeds to say something like "you need to work on how you handle things like sunday" I was so shocked. I said something about do you really want to talk about this here and now? We got into an argument where he kept telling me things like what the facts were and I couldn't see things any differently because they were facts. He said he never said we'd spend the day together. I have trouble communicating fast. I tend to really try hard to think not only about what I'm saying but how it might be received. It just didn't go well so he eventually said well why don't you just email me since you can't communicate. I did email him and I forwarded the email where he said we would spend Sunday together telling him this was what led me to believe we were spending Sunday together. He never responded. I don't even know if he really read it. My email started with the top three things I was trying to accomplish for me and for him. Things like I want to be heard I want you to be heard etc.


 


We have texted every day until this tuesday dinner. During dinner he mentioned a couple of other things like you're the one that doen't have time when you originally said we could have a couple days together. So on Thursday I offered to have him over. He also said during dinner that I'm not going to pay for $100 meal to argue with you. I paid the bill. I told him there was no way he was going to hold this over my head, I've said nothing more about it. I couldn't even afford the meal nor did I choose the restaurant or bring up the Sunday conversation that landed us in the argument again.


 


All week he would say lets talk tomorrow and then not be available or not answer my texts. When i asked him about he blamed me saying I'm so busy and unavailable. Last night he finally came over and we barely hugged he didn't even take off his shoes. We started talking about other things but eventually I said lets talk about us and it was just so hard.


 


He said a ton of hurtful things. You need to this or that. I tried so hard to say I hear that this hurt you and I would not want you to think that I didn't find a second day to meet you because of Sunday. It truly was because my neice was coming. He would interupt me because "you needed to be corrected" but when I interrupt him he would tell me it was because I just wanted to be right. He told me that I shouldn't be needing to be right and he gave examples like listing sending him the email where he talked about Sunday.


 


At one point I asked him could you possibly consider trying to talk to me using different language and gave him an example of an approach I might work better with and he just said no. I mentioned that he had gone from saying he loved me to not saying a thing about it. He basically told me to stop being a victim that I should say what he needs to hear and own up to my issues. So I tried saying the things I thought I could own up to and he said you can't do it now, it doesn't count.


 


He knows in my last relationship we spent every other weekend together and said something about slowing down and that he wasn't sure we could fix our communication issues.


 


I finally said I can't do this! You're not happy with me. I tried to back track but he refused to hear me. Earlier in the week I sent him a couple of YouTube videos I found about ways to communicate and asked him if he would look at them or find some that he thought we could use. He never responded.


 


four years ago he refused to go to counseling. He said I always blame everything on him, I hog the conversation, etc.


 


Things are SO loving when they are good and the connection is mind blowing. I told him he can make me feel like I'm on cloud nine or six feet under. I feel like nothing I try works. If I cry he gets more mad. If I'm quiet he doesn't like that. I can only take so much of "how wrong I am" and still be reasonable myself. Anytime I try to chat about what I would like to see improved and I try so hard to say things like When I hear X, it makes me feel X. He yelled at me, blamed me, and then walked out.


 


Now we are supposed to talk again tonight at my insistance but I don't know what to do. I want to tell him that I love him and ask why do you tell me all of these loving things and then withdrawal. I'm so upset and I already called into work sick today because this is eating me up. I don't mind working on things I know I'm not perfect but I also don't want to be a verbal dumping ground. I want equal opportunity to be heard and have him work on things too. No matter how I say it it turns out shity. I wish someone was there to say try this technique or hey he's kind of right about this ....

Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 1 year ago.

I'm sure Elliott will have good things to say about your situation. But when I read it, I can reach only ONE conclusion: You must have a skilled couples therapist to manage your attempts to cope with arguments! If you are in a metropolitan area, I suggest you look online for Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy, because they are headquartered in Ottawa, but all over USA and many foreign countries. There focus is on the self-defeating repetitive arguments that prevent an otherwise good relationship from staying connected. The highly trained therapist manages those patterns by slowing them down and eventually paring them down to the emotions generating each input and the thoughts and emotions behind those emotions, where secure emotional attachment structures can be built. It's not a 1 session fix, like your BF might prefer--since he seems pretty concerned with staying in control of his reality when off balance. It expects 8-16 sessions, to restructure all the verbal fencing, attacking and withdrawing into the emotional safety that both of you are seeking, but unable to reach with each other.

 

It's obvious that you will not be able to agree on ground rules for engagement over differences without a moderator who wields more power than either of you. And you'll need to learn a different process so your current power struggles don't come back to destroy the love you have every time. I'm not laying blame for the vicious cycle on either one of you, but like EFCT, the blame belongs with the relating cycle itself, and that has to be dismantled. I know he refused to go to counseling last time. And now you've asked to get back together, and the same thing has happened. So I'd advise you to notify him that without allowing extensive intervention by a skilled relating manager, you can't make progress, so you'll have to accept what drove you apart before as valid: that you cannot cope with conflict together unless you learn a new habit altogether. Neither of you is solely to blame, but your vicious cycle of interaction IS to BLAME and must be thoroughly reworked. So If he won't engage in that learning process, it has to be Sayanara.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

ELLIOTT can you still respond?

Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 1 year ago.
Dear friend,

I am so sorry I could not get back to you before another therapist grabbed the question. Thank you for holding out for me. My take on this situation is very different than his.

I do not see this as a power struggle between two strong-headed forces. I see a man who is trying to control you with either kindness or by accusing you if being a perpetrator of problems.

I believe that his is a narcissist and can only be happy if he is in control. He accuses you of things that he does and makes himself out to be the victim.

I see you as a very accommodating person who seems to be bending over backwards to please him, and he uses every opportunity to throw you off balance and stay in control.

He would not go to counseling in the past and he probably will not go again because he does not want to be cornered in any way or put at a disadvantage.

Narcissists usually do not think others are qualified to assess them, and in any event, he wants to control the situation.

You are always apologizing and he is not accepting. You avoid fights and take responsibility but he does not. You would be very easy to get along with in an equal relationship because of your fair and even-handed approach.

In this situation, it does not work.

He has no empathy for your pain and suffering, and cannot (is incapable) of showing real concern (although he can probably do a good job of pretending that he does, if he needs to).

He seems to have lots of excuses for not doing one thing or the other. They sound credible but they are frequent in your letter, and they may not be totally true, or may be untrue. They are so convenient, however, for getting out of situations that he may not have been interested in going to. Narcissists are liars - the best ones.

I understand that my interpretation is not based on observation or deep questioning, but it is based on my intuition as a professional and hearing your story.

I don't think that this relationship will work out. What narcissists want is called "narcissistic supply" and it comes from either getting admiration, or getting control, often at the expense of others who are their victims, and whom they claim victimize the narcissist/perpetrator.

You are suffering a great deal in this relationship. I understand that you have had some wonderful moments that seemed heavenly to you, but the bulk of the relationship, as you have described it, has been tortuous and bringing you down, without apparent resolution on the horizon.

I don't see a rosy future or happy ending here, but I may have missed out on the positives that you didn't mention.

I welcome your reply and will be happy to address this further.

Warm regards,

Elliott
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 7663
Experience: 35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

ELLIOTT Thank you for your reply. We did talk and things have officially ended. I'm still struggling that I was so attached (and still am) to such a person that would also make me feel so...horrible. Your comments definitely help with the fact that this relationship is something I should be letting go of. Just still a fresh wound.


 


Thank you.

Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 1 year ago.
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